With holiday travel here, which airports have the most delays and cancellations?

NEW YORK — Even though the holidays are fun and full of heartwarming visits from family and friends, traveling there can be very stressful. Weather can easily put a damper on the holidays when a flight gets canceled or traffic is snarled. In light of this, a new poll is revealing which U.S. airports Americans will need to pack some extra patience this holiday season.

Investment Property Exchange Services conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans to better understand their travel plans and preparations. The report delves into travelers’ worries and the airports that deal with the most delays and cancellations.

The prospect of flight delays and cancellations looms large over holiday travelers, with more than one-third (35%) of Americans expressing concerns about these disruptions during the upcoming 2023 holiday travel season. Twenty-three percent have already encountered flight delays or cancellations earlier this year. However, despite these worries and prior experiences, a whopping 84 percent of Americans do not intend to purchase travel insurance.

holiday travel
(credit: Investment Property Exchange Services)

When it comes to air travel, 56 percent of travelers plan to check a bag, and 42 percent of them are anxious about the possibility of their checked luggage going missing. To address this concern, 18 percent of travelers are taking precautions by equipping their bags with tracking devices. However, lost bags aren’t the only worry on travelers’ minds; 31 percent are concerned about the ongoing impact of COVID-19, and 38 percent plan to wear a mask while traveling.

The average American has already shelled out $892 on flights in 2023. For the upcoming holiday season, the average budget allocated for travel is $2,005. Interestingly, nearly half (45%) of travelers intend to utilize their points or rewards to reduce travel expenses, with the average person having saved $515 in 2023 through these rewards programs.

In the quest for convenience and peace of mind, 75 percent of travelers are willing to pay extra for a direct flight, and 62 percent are open to paying more for seats that allow them to sit with family members during the flight.

U.S. Airports with the Most Delays and Cancellations

Holiday travel often comes with the risk of delays and cancellations, and some airports are more notorious for these issues than others. Investment Property Exchange Services’ analysis of U.S. Department of Transportation data has identified the busiest airports in the country and the ones most plagued by delays and cancellations.

holiday travel
(credit: Investment Property Exchange Services)

The top 5 busiest airports in the U.S. are:

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth International
  3. Denver International
  4. Chicago O’Hare International
  5. Los Angeles International

When it comes to airports with the highest number of delayed departures, the results may surprise you. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines a flight as delayed if it departs 15 minutes or more after the scheduled departure time.

The top 5 U.S. airports with the most delayed flights are:

  1. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
  2. McCarran International (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  3. Orlando International & Denver International
  4. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall
  5. Chicago Midway International

The top 5 U.S. airports with the most canceled flights include:

  1. Dallas Love Field
  2. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
  3. Newark Liberty International (Newark, New Jersey)
  4. LaGuardia (New York, New York)
  5. Dallas/Fort Worth International

How Are Americans Planning to Travel This Holiday Season?

The survey indicates that 62 percent of Americans plan to travel during the upcoming holiday season, with 42 percent opting for air travel and 54 percent choosing to hit the road. If gas prices drop during the holiday season, two-thirds (67%) of respondents are more likely to opt for road travel. Thanksgiving appears to be a popular time for travel, with 44 percent of people planning trips, and 84 percent gearing up for December getaways.

holiday travel
(credit: Investment Property Exchange Services)

In terms of destinations, 38 percent of travelers are heading to a nearby state, while 25 percent are embarking on cross-country journeys. Another 25 percent plan to stay within their home state and 12 percent are venturing abroad for international holidays. When it comes to accommodation, 58 percent of Americans are opting to stay with family, 21 percent plan to stay at hotels or resorts, 10 percent will stay with friends, nine percent are considering rental homes, and two percent have other lodging arrangements in mind.

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Methodology

In October 2023, Investment Property Exchange Services conducted a survey of 1,005 people from across the U.S. about their holiday travel plans. Among respondents, 50 percent identified as male and 48 percent as female with an average age of 41.

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